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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Linn County to deal with brutally cold weather until Wednesday

This windchill chart by the National Weather Service shows that Saturday night's low temperature of nearly 10 degrees below zero with nearly 30 mph winds could lead to frostbite of exposed skin within as little as 10 minutes. (National Weather Service)

Brutally cold weather and with plunging wind-chill factors driven by blustery winds is expected to make the next several days fairly miserable for those who must be outside. However, for those who don’t need to be out, stay in.

The entire region is under a wind-chill warning through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. The high on Sunday is expected to reach 2 degrees F. On Saturday night, the thermometer will dip to 8 below zero.

Wind gusts on Saturday are expected to top out at 29 mph, with the breeze finally calming on Sunday night.

Fortunately, there is only a slight chance of snow both Sunday and Monday.

If there is a sure indicator of how much the single-digit, blustery weather will affect our lives, the ticket prices for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins game on Saturday have dropped to as low as $30 on Ticketmaster, an incredible bargain if you have enough heat packs to endure the cold.

The temperature is expected to return to more normal temperatures by breaking the freezing mark on Wednesday with sunny weather.

According to NWS, the combination of wind and low temperature can be deadly. The wind chill index can be used to determine when dangerous conditions may occur that could lead to frostbite and hypothermia.

The chart about uses wind speed and temperature to determine heat loss to your body. Wind chill values near minus 25 degrees mean that frostbite is possible within 15 minutes.

The freezing of skin and body tissue, frostbite first affects exposed body pats like fingers, toes, nose and ears. When frostbite starts, feeling is lost in the exposed area. Frozen tissue looks white or pale. If you feel like you are experiencing frostbite, hold the affected area close against warm skin to return warmth and blood flow. 

Hypothermia is when a dangerously low body temperature occurs. Warning signs of hypothermia is uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Those symptoms indicate that immediate medical attention is needed. If no help is available, the suffering person should be warmed slowly with warm liquids and dry clothing or blankets. 

Hypothermia is particularly dangerous when a person has fallen through the ice into a pond, lake, or stream. Make sure that ice is at least 4 inches thick before you walk on it.

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